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tv   World Business  PBS  July 25, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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>>reporter: this week on world business... >>egypt after the revolution - we look at the state of the country 6 months on. >>the government so far has not presented a single economic policy of any kind. they have not provided a stimulus package for the most poorest population because they are the most effected. >>reporter: why hydroelectric power is a big draw for energy intensive industries around the world. >>things like the smelting of aluminium of bauxite you're going to need huge quantities of power andfor that hydropower does seem to be the obvious solution >>reporter: and how social media can be an amazing source of market research, if companies can sort through the vast amounts of consumer comments posted online. >>the scale of data mining is increasing all the time. the cost of, the unit cost
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of data mining is going down all the time. >>reporter: hello and welcome. i'm raya abirached and this is world business, your weekly insight into the global business trends shaping our lives. at the start of the year egypt surprised the world,by overthrowing the regime of president hosni mubarak. six months on and the country is at a crossroads. the revolution appears to have stalled, parts of the economy have been badly battered and protestors are back in the streets. >>reporter: cairo in july. the arab spring has given way to the arab summer. the city is boiling hotbut despite
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the heat hundreds of protestors have again taken to the streets and are camping out in tahrir square. they're here, they say, because the revolution is in danger. >>azer: i've had friends of mine that are being tried in a military court, friends of mine being arrested, i was arrested once and i was beaten once by the army and this is all after ousting hosni mubarak. >>reporter: since january at least five thousand people have been put on trial by secretive militarytribunals while only one policeman has been convicted, in absentia, for the killing of the nine hundred people who died during the revolution. it's true that some former politicians have been convicted. ministers have resigned or been fired. mubarak and his sons are still under arrest. but now, with the elections postponed a few months, the activists believe they need to step up their campaign >>salem: you know you're having a last desperate attempt; you're trying to make it peaceful because people are
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starting to get the idea that being peaceful is not working anymore and this is not something that i want for the country. it's not something any of us wants. none of us wants to be in tahrir. we'd rather be vacationing somewhere else. >>reporter: outside the square ordinary cairenes are facing a different battle - the daily struggle to survive. forty per cent of egyptians already lived under the un poverty line before the revolution. this year, with an estimated gdp growth of just one per cent, things seem certain to get worse. unemployment is up. industrial output is down. foreign investment has fallen. capital is fleeing the country. tourism too, which makes up 11 per cent of the economy, has been badly hit, while inflation, already over twelve per cent, is rising. >>heikal: i think the egyptian economy will undergo serious bumps in the next period of time. there is no two ways about it - i mean if you look at all macro-economic indicators the egyptian
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economy is going to suffer... if you have very high unemployment and you have high inflation it is like putting a fire next to a bush >>reporter: the egyptian people should, for the first time in their lives, be able to express their opinions about this worrying state of affairs in elections later this year. one party that's almost certain to do well is the muslim brotherhood's freedom and justice party. it wants to increase the use of islamic finance and believes interest should be banned. it was opposed to a proposed $3 billion loan from the imf and wants the west to interfere less in egypt's internal affairs. >>el-erian: we need respect for all... we respect your way of life, don't intervene in your way; please also respect our cultures, our civilization, our beliefs. don't insult us, you are not superior. >>reporter: the fact
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the government backtracked on its initial acceptance of the imf loan suggests some indication of the way the wind is blowing. and there's no doubt the muslim brotherhood would like a country living under a stricter interpretation of islamic law. yet, analysts point out, economicliberalization helped egypt attract some forty seven and a half billion dollars in foreign investment over the last 6 years. and the fundamental reasons as to why that money arrived have not changed >>blair: the main parameters are still there. good demographics, significant liquidity, low labour costs, geographical position, all of that will augur well but again whoever comes into power will need to know that and need to know that they need to maximize as much as possible government policy to ensure that you are maximizing economic growth. >>reporter: the main thing egypt needs, is more jobs; and that requires investment. investors, though, prefer stability and the country's future remains uncertain. it can't help either that when they turn on their television sets; they see the pictures of the renewed demonstrations.
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>>mars: many of the people here feel they left too early last time around - trusting that the gains they had made would continue under the new military government. this time they're more wary and say that they're not leaving until their demands are met. >>reporter: but are the demonstrations holding back the economy? >>salem: i think it's kind of funny how the economic development is kind of held up by one square, it's one of those talking points that just make no sense in reality. i mean the government so far hasnot presented a single economic policy of any kind. they have not provided a stimulus package for the most poorest population... because they're the most effected. they haven't given one for small businesses to keep people employed, they haven't started any kind of new initiative to capitalise on this energy to get people moving that production wheel. >>reporter: ultimately a new egypt is being born. there are problems, of course - and dangers. yet despite everything the mood in the country remains up beat.
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>> azer: i am sure that egypt will never go back in time and be as bad as it was. maybe it will takesome time, five, ten, twenty years but we are already late 30 years because of mubarak. >>heikal: i'm very optimistic for the future. i sense transparency, accountability democracy are very good for private enterprise. >>reporter: egypt is certainly heading into uncharted waters. the events over the next few months will be decisive. the fact remains though that for the first time in its history the country's future is in the hands of its people. and to most egyptians - that's the greatest start the country could have. >>reporter: and next week we'll have a more in depth look at the impact of the revolution on tourismin egypt. as large industry and manufacturers from around the world search for ways to reduce their carbon footprints, global industrial giants are looking for greener
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and readily available sources of energy. and hydroelectric power is proving a serious draw. >>reporter: the last few years have seen unprecedented growth in the use of hydropower...from smelting metals to internet data centres. >>taylor: companies are getting more scrutinized about their whole chain of activities and if you can bring in a cleaner renewable energy to carry out your activities it is only going to build in terms of responsibility and perceptions around that company. organizations are relocating their activities to be able to enjoy the benefits of hydropower and they include apple, google, microsoft, and, bmw has recently relocated its factories in north america to enjoy hydropower as a source for its manufacturing. >>reporter: the largest, and most controversial example of hydroelectric schemes is the three gorgesdam in china which provides power to the central china grid and feeds five provinces.
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but it's alsobeen called an environmental catastrophe due to the forced relocation of 1.3 million people along with concerns ranging from massive erosion to causing earth tremors. >>toulmin: for things like the smelting of aluminium of bauxite you're going to need huge quantitiesof power and for that hydropower does seem to be the obvious solution if you can find yourself a source where the damage is not going to be too great. >>reporter: and companies from japan, china, australia and the middle east are relocating to one of those sources of hydropower - generated in the jungles of the malaysian state of sarawak, sandwiched between brunei and indonesia. >>the malaysian government recently signed an agreement to allow its largest state of sarawak to purchase the power from the massive bakun dam: operational from august this year, it will eventually provide 20,000mw of clean, cheap energy to fuel power-hungry new industries
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and attract investment estimated at 70-80 billion us dollars over the next two decades. already 8 and a half billion dollars has been committed including $4 billion from abu dhabi's mubadala to build a smelter, creating 10,000 jobs. >>mahmud: this 70 billion dollars worth of investment over the next 20 years will translate into thecreation of 1.6 million jobs. this of course will achieve for sarawak the achievement of the creation of a high income economy. >>reporter: such is the draw of clean energy, that it can attract the world's largest energy guzzlers: rio tinto alcan is the world's largest aluminium producer. hydropower accounts for more than halfof its energy needs... compared to the global aluminium industry's standard of 35% for smelting. >>cote: making aluminium out
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of clean, renewable, hydro-power typically emits 5 to 8 times less thanwhat it is produced on coal. we have a bias for clean energy, so sarawak offering a large scale clean, renewable, hydro-electricity presents significant interest for us. and i would add in addition to hydro-electricity, it is offering skilled workforce and it's very close to, very high-growth markets; all critical factors in decisions of investment for us. >>reporter: rio tinto is currently negotiating a power purchase agreement which could see it settingup a $2b smelter, creating three thousand direct jobs, and another 6,000 regionally. the company's aluminium production has increased by 62% since 1990... but its green house gas emissions have decreased by 47% at the same time. >>sjotveit: global companies
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are concerned about the footprint they are setting and the social environment that we are dealing with. in sarawak we are a developing country so the concern here is moreto have industrial development and economic development for the people of sarawak. >>reporter: hydro-power has attracted other large companies to the land of the hornbill. malaysian-based global aluminium producer, press metal is investing over a billion dollars on a new smelting plant at samalaju, on sarawak's coast; also tapping the power of the mighty bakun dam. >>koon: sarawak is the place, especially because of the renewable called clean energy that they've got, it is very important for aluminium players these days to look for clean, renewable energy. >>reporter: not only is the hydro power available from a new port-side location, it is also right inthe heart of the high growth economies such as india, china
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and the regional grouping of asean... estimated by press metal to consume more than two-thirds of world production. >>the building of bakun dam, and other hydro-schemes in the so-called sarawak corridor of renewable energy (or score) has not been without controversy. 10,000 people were relocated when their traditional tribal land was flooded in the construction of bakun dam. conservationists have waged an intense campaign against the development; but community leaders also see advantages: >>uma belor: the school for instance is nearer which is wonderful for the children. and it's easieralso for us to communicate with the government as well. and we have clinics where we can go and other offices nearby. >>reporter: the international hydropower association is working with environmental champions such asthe world wildlife fund and has
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developed the hydropower sustainability assessment protocol to limit the social and environmental impacts. >>from canada, to china and the wilds of borneo... hydro power is attracting a whole range of industries - businesses that will relocate to access that vast energy... and at the same time, reduce their impact on the global environment. >>reporter: still to come on world business... >>harnessing the power of social media; why companies are sifting through online conversations to find out how their customers really feel. >>and we talk to formula 1 driver mark webber about his decision to ignore team instructions at the british grand prix >>the drive to succeed... and the rest in just a moment on world business...
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>>reporter: the power of the online world is liberating. social networking sites made the uprisings in north africa and the middle east possible, bloggers can make or break new businesses and sites like facebook and twitter connect people across the world. the huge quantities of information carried on such sites can be very valuable to companies which can use the data and some companies are comingup with innovative techniques to do just that. >>reporter: if anyone had any doubts about the political po the revolutions of the arab spring put paid to those. social networking sites are also giving everyday people real economic power.
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>>barwise: the internet is a consumer dominated medium, consumer controlled. so there are some very powerful platforms. >>talbot: social networking identifies a desire in the population, a fundamental human desire to communicate and to have your voice heard. >>reporter: everyday, millions of opinions about products are posted online. for companies, this torrent of information can give up hugely valuable market reseach, if they can sort what's useful. >>kellett: its generating massive amounts of unstructured data and in order to understand that unstructured data and really find the gems that are in it you really need to apply advanced data techniques to it. and that's hence why we have launched social media analytics as a particular product to aid organizations in that space. >>reporter: a whole industry has sprung up to help firms find those gems. social media analytics or data mining is at it's simplest, a technique for searching for what is said
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about companies or products online and collating it into usable data. a very modern kind of market research. >>de besche: at the core of meltwater services they are built on the foundation of mining the internet for relevant content and conversations and making sure that businesses, our customers, find insight to make well informed decisions. >>reporter: meltwater drive and buzz is aiming to grow into a 100 million dollar business in the next 3 years. but to do so it has to process vast numbers of online conversations, which is a huge task. >>de besche: today we have around 200 million different sources into our solution, bringing in between 50 and 100 million conversations a day. >>reporter: but thanks to the rate of development of both software and hardware
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this is now achieveable. >>barwise: the scale of data mining is increasing all the time. the cost of, the unit cost of data mining is going down all the time. >>reporter: meaning the service is more affordable and giving companies a better understanding of how customers really feel. but despite the obvious power of social networking, it's something many firms continue to ignore. >>kellett: we commissioned some research with the economist earlier this year. some incredible results: only 22% of those who responded were using social media to help with their customer strategy. a massive amount of organizations, almost 75%, didn't actually know where their most valuable customers were talking about them online. shocking! >>reporter: the value of decent online information is huge, but so too of course is the investment required to harvest it. >>de besche: we have spend more than 10 million dollars in acquiring technology
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and talent and this going to be a process we are going to continue with. >>reporter: it's also hard to keep up with online slang.... >>talbot: consider the word sick. if you're a client like astrazeneca or abbott labs, then being sick is probably a fairly bad thing, but if you're a games company like electronic arts then 'this gameis sick' is a very positive thing. >>reporter: just as you get market leaders amongst companies, in the online world there individuals who carry more influence, for example people with many followers on twitter or friends on facebook. companies like peerindex help firms find them.... >>cast: you kind of know who the top people are, but there is that magic middle of people who are easier to reach and in some ways are much more engaged with your product because they have built up their audience around an interest and that audience really trusts them. >>reporter: the number
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of online users is growing exponentially which could give serious opportunities for growth, especially as the emerging markets of the east go online. but is it really any more than a overhyped and trendy form of market research? >>barwise: social media is the latest thing for which the marketers are hyperventilating; mobile, mobile advertising is the other. they are both important, they both have been predicted for a long time but if you want to understand your customers you do not rely on any single source. >>de besche: many view as social media as a black box, but we like to think is going back to the age-old business principle of really listening to your customers. >>reporter: sometimes the best thing is just to concentrate on making a good product, after all if you do that, your customers will spread the word, whether it's online or on the street.
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>>reporter: the 2011 formula 1 championship is going extremely well for the red bull team, with bothdrivers sitting at the top of the table. in second place is mark webber, who controversially ignored an instruction not to try and overtake his team mate at the silverstone grand prix. nick easen caught up with him recently and began by asking him why he decided not to hold back. >>webber: at the end of the race i was catching sebastian, my team mate and the teams were very nervous about us obviously making contact with each other, so they were trying to call the race off between us two. so basically hold position, keep the gap at a sensible level so we don't put any pressure on each other but obviously the competitive instincts took over and i was keen to try and gain an extra position. you come to that stage of the race where you've worked very, very hard to get back on to someone; in this case it was sebastian. a lot of effort and concentration
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and obviously good driving and things like that get you in that position. i did what i could; what i thought was right...obviously thought of myself in some ways but it's a very difficult call that close to the race to shut things down. >>easen: can you explain how the rules and regulations have affected things. >>webber: well the racing issue is very, very different because the tyres have played a huge role inhow we go about competing in a grand prix. we used to only make one or maybe two pit stops in a grand prix because the tyres obviously would last a lot longer and the racing was in some people's eyesa little bit dull and there wasn't as much racing going on the track. so they developed a tire which was... had obviously more degradation - a lot more pit stops and a bit more over taking on the tracks; so they're trying to spice things up a bit through that.
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so they've obviously got a drs rear wing which is a drag reduction system; so on the straights if you get within a certain time frame of the guy in front you can use this wing against him to try and overtake him on the straight. so this year has been probably the biggest change we have seen in terms of trying to help the show. and it's worked, we've had some very good races this year; people say some of the best ever. >>easen: you are renowned for being straight-talking: you took an ethical stance on racing in bahrain; do you think f1 can be a force for good when it comes to human rights? >>webber: well i think any world sport can sometimes help and play a role...obviously it's always a delicate situation when you don't maybe fully understand the situation that's going on in individualcases but when you've got a sport; in this case car racing that a lot of people look up to and follow and some of their heroes are competing or their favourite teams are racing, i suppose they would like to see em to make
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